As summer winds down and fall sets in, kids across the country are kicking off a school year unlike any other. From elementary schools to universities, many institutions are changing their approach to in-person learning as the world continues to combat COVID-19. With some schools taking a hybrid approach and others going all-in on remote learning, it’s more important than ever that students of all ages have the tools that they need to continue learning no matter where they may be.
Microsoft is prepared to tackle this year’s unique challenges through the power of Microsoft 365, a suite of software designed to make learning, communicating, and collaborating simpler than ever before.
Office 365 has been a longtime staple in the world of education. Papers have been written in Word, functions performed in Excel, and presentations presented in PowerPoint for decades – but these tools aren’t limited to a library or classroom. Thanks to the power of Microsoft’s cloud technology, these tools are available on nearly any device from anywhere with an internet connection.
Even without dedicated desktop or mobile apps, logging into your Microsoft account from any web browser provides instant access to the notes, papers, presentations, and files that users rely on each day. From note-taking during class to jotting down a new idea, OneNote provides the perfect solution. With features like cloud synchronization, deep compatibility across nearly any device, and integrations with the rest of the Office 365 ecosystem, OneNote provides students with a versatile platform for typing notes, scribbling ideas, snapping photos, and more on the fly.
Staying connected with classmates is a very important part of learning. While it’s obviously important for teachers to be able to clearly and concisely share lessons with their class, it’s equally important for students to be able to work with each other to connect over schoolwork, get to know each other, and build bonds that can last a lifetime.
With Microsoft Teams, students and teachers from across a town (or across the world) are able to see each other in real-time, connecting, learning, and sharing information. Whether it’s a 1:1 call or an entire lecture hall full of participants, Microsoft Teams provides the tools that instructors need to guide their students on the path towards success each day. Whether it’s a video call, a group chat, or interacting with another single user, Microsoft Teams tears down any technological barriers that stand between users and fluid, effective communication.
The entire Microsoft software lineup is built with collaboration at its heart, allowing students to work together on papers, pitch in on projects, or participate in virtual class activities with ease. Co-editing in Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, Excel, and more allow teams of any size to easily combine their ideas and stay in the loop during the course of any class, event, or project. During video calls and conferences, Microsoft Teams’ “Raise Hand” feature keeps participants involved in the conversation, allowing them to share their thoughts and insights with the rest of the class in the same way that they would in a traditional classroom or lecture hall. Third-party apps like Kahoot!, Quizlet, and Flipgrid allow teachers to create versatile interactive elements to keep students engaged with their content, even when they’re not in a physical classroom.
While it’s difficult to fully replicate the experience of attending classes in person or working with a small group in a breakout room, the Microsoft 365 family of apps helps classrooms around the world maintain their focus and productivity, regardless of where, when, or how students are logging in. As Microsoft Teams continues to become an even more important part of the education world, third-party companies and Microsoft will inevitably continue to collaborate to bring new and exciting tools that expand what’s possible for students and educational organizations across the world as remote learning evolves into the norm rather than the exception.